Apr 9, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) carries the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors 125 - Philadelphia 76ers 114: Kyle, we missed you

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Apr 9, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) dunks the ball against Philadelphia 76ers forward-center Jarvis Varnado (40) at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Philadelphia 125-114. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

 

In a bizarre game of “Last Basket Wins”, the Toronto Raptors gave up a boatload of points to the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the defensively challenged 76ers couldn’t stop the Raps’ offense, which came at them in waves. The Sixers hung around until late in Q4, when Kyle Lowry decided he’d seen enough. He attacked Philly’s unguarded paint, scoring 4 straight buckets and a pair of free throws in the last 3:46 to put the game on ice.

All five Raps starters scored in double figures, led by Kyle’s 29 points in his first game back after missing 3 due to a knee injury. He looked comfortable from the opening tip, adding 8 assists without a turnover. Kyle connected several times with a grateful Jonas Valanciunas, who pumped in a career-high 26, many of them on uncontested slams. His opposite number, Henry Sims, shot the ball impressively and displayed NBA-grade moves under the basket on his way to 22 points. However, he won’t survive unless he gets a clue on D, where he couldn’t stop my grandmother. Patrick Patterson had his best game since returning from his injury. He scored 17 points efficiently, by hitting the boards and draining open 3-balls. His 3 blocked shots were a welcome sight, as were his quick feet in help defense. Terrence Ross drew the assignment of covering Michael Carter-Williams, the likely NBA Rookie of the Year. TRoss was not outclassed, despite MCW’s 19 points and 8 assists. Our sophomore wingman made 3 threes, and handed out 4 assists. DeMar DeRozan’s jumper was off, but he still contributed, passing for 5 assists. He managed 17 points, 9 of them at the free throw line. His only miss on 10 tries occurred after he was elbowed in the face on a drive late in Q4, which opened a substantial cut and left him looking woozy. He departed for the locker room at the next whistle.

Greivis Vasquez was no doubt disappointed to play only 13+ minutes after his dandy work last week. He hit both threes he tried. John Salmons was useful in limited duty, as was Nando De Colo.

You’ll won’t see many games at any level where both teams shoot above 50%, yet that’s what happened on this night. Sometimes offense trumps defense, but I strongly suspect coach Dwane Casey will have a lot of heated words for his troops during film review today.

The Raps needed this win, as the Chicago Bulls won their sixth straight to remain tied for the #3 seed. The Raps host the Knicks on Friday night, then visit Detroit on Sunday. Keep piling up those wins, boys.

 

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